Wednesday, February 22, 2006

In praise of . . .

. . . Brokeback Mountain.

Yes. I know. I really really really didn't want to be that gay guy who thinks it's just about the most amazing thing ever. I went in thinking, all those people who think it's so great, they're just thinking that 'cos it's really the first ever big gay movie.

But. Alas. Now - I'm also not a movie snob. I am happy with a Bruce Willis flick. Plot development? Character interaction? Nah, give me Starship Troopers. So that's where I'm coming from.

First, it's visually stunning. And filmed in Alberta. I guess it's easier to get tax breaks for gay movies in Alberta than in Wyoming or Montana or wherever.

Second - the love theme. I think that really, for most of us gay men, this is the first time we've seen a movie that has love we can understand. I mean, there are plenty of good straight love movies out there, uplifting or tragic, but at the end of the day, while I suppose we can conceptually understand, we can't really relate. This was different. (Yes, there are plenty of bad gay movies out there; I'm not counting them. A gay movie without all the attendant annoyingness of being gay was wonderful. Honestly. All the movies out that I can think of in some way involve drag queens or queeny old designers or Provincetown/West Hollywood. My life doesn't really involve those things. Okay, it doesn't involve horses and sheep either.)

The scene where Ennis walks up behind Jack, who's dozing on his feet, and puts his arms around him - felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. Seeing on screen an expression of tenderness that I could understand was powerful. Well, that coupled with the scene it goes with.

Maybe it also resonated with me because of the distance. I was in a long-distance relationship once, and the feeling of how awful the distance is, and how much you long for the time to pass so you can see each other again. And even now, where the people I care most about live either across the continent or across the continent and an ocean - the yearning for the distance to close, for the time apart to go by faster and the time together to be slower.

So, in all - wow. I hate to say it, but wow.

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